In 2009, following a tender process, Ferrier Pearce was appointed as communication specialists for the Arup pension scheme. The existing scheme (which was DB with a DC section) was closing to new members and to future contributions and being replaced with a generous Group Pension Plan.
The objective was to help employees through the journey of understanding the changes, making informed decisions about joining the new arrangement and then taking those who wished to join through a smooth and simple joining process.
We designed a distinct look and feel for all the pensions communications, using the theme of balance and harmony, elements central to the heart of the client's ethos, as set down by the founder, Sir Ove Arup.
Using this look and feel, we developed a specific pensions website with a link from the company's intranet site. The website drew together the various tools available to the employees from the benefit consultants and plan administrators and presented the information they needed clearly and simply.
It provides a clear path for the employee to follow, from finding out about the Plan, choosing their level of contribution, finding out about their attitude to investment and risk and finally to confirming their choices and signing up to the Plan.
Arup have reported an increased engagement with the new plan, with more staff paying high contributions and additional voluntary contributions, and an increase in staff awareness of their pension. Overall this means that there is now a real appreciation of the value in the overall benefit package offered by Arup. Voluntary transfers to the new plan indicate increased staff confidence in the employer and the Plan.
The results were impressive:
One of Arup’s major goals was to significantly increase the take up of the company scheme. Not only did the take up increase significantly, but the original goal of 75% membership was surpassed within the first four weeks of enrolment.
Around 73% of new joiners to the Plan actively chose where to invest their contributions, leaving only 27% automatically allocated to the default fund. An impressive statistic considering that the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is expecting as many as 90% of its members to be in the default fund, and the majority of other schemes have a similar experience.
The communications solution continues to educate, inform and encourage staff to take advantage of Arup’s GPPP. The take up, now at 93%, far exceeds not only Arup’s expectations, but also the experience of many UK occupational schemes across the industry.
Since it's implementation the success of our communications strategy has resulted in two award wins for Arup - for Design Effectiveness and for Digital Impact. It also received a highly commended Engaged Investor Trustee award as well as being a finalist in the most effective communications strategy at the Employee Benefits Awards 2012.
To learn more about this case study why not talk to Jon Pearce directly on 07850 181282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org